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Thread: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

  1. #1
    Nik's Avatar
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    tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Why would I want one.... ?
    How does it work... ?
    Is it used indoors and out??


    I have only ever shot using natural light.
    I've also done studio work... and used studio lighting, but this isn't the same.
    Is it?

    Tell me everything!! =)

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    Why would I want one.... ?
    To create light when you don't have enough

    How does it work... ?
    You turn it on - it charges up - and then goes FLASH when you take the shot

    Is it used indoors and out??
    Yes.

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Colin, I am surprised you did not mention the flash Bible:

    http://photonotes.org/articles/eos-flash/

    Nik, this might be a good resource for you.

    Good luck!

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    Colin, I am surprised you did not mention the flash Bible:
    Hi Ali,

    It's a great reference, but probably a bit overwhelming for a "flash beginner"

  5. #5
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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Ali,

    It's a great reference, but probably a bit overwhelming for a "flash beginner"
    True!

    How about this one: Joe McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries. I have been reading it slowly for the past couple of days and it is actually very good!

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alis View Post
    True!

    How about this one: Joe McNally's Hot Shoe Diaries. I have been reading it slowly for the past couple of days and it is actually very good!
    Yes - an excellent book (once you have a flash or two )

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Hi Nik,

    While those two play ping-pong with each other

    I'll suggest you start on this site with Sean's two parter;
    Camera Flash, Part 1: Light Quality & Appearance, followed by;
    Camera Flash, Part 2: Flash Ratios & Exposure

    It also goes deep by the end, but Sean has a knack to explaining things quite well.
    Don't rush through them if you're short of time, save them until you have an hour and re-read each paragraph until you have understood it before proceeding too far in.

    Cheers,

  8. #8

    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    I have only ever shot using natural light. I've also done studio work... and used studio lighting, but this isn't the same.
    Is it?
    Hi Nik

    Basically, yes it is the same. The equipment is different, but the basic principles and methods are the same.

    This video is very basic and shows very clearly the results you can get from using flash, especially combining it with ambient light. The bit at the end in the camera store (trying to adjust the background light) can also be done outdoors.



  9. #9
    Nik's Avatar
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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    thank you!! all of you!
    i really need this.
    i have an... 'interview/tryout' where i'll need to be using a flash and honestly
    have no idea what to do with it. i know i can incorporate it into my style of
    photography, at least i'm pretty confident that i can.

    i was thinking of renting a flash for a couple of days to see if i can make it work.
    ha.

    you guys are awesome. i've opened every page you linked to and will read them all.

    with the 7d though... can i put this flash ... like on the ground and use my camera to trigger it?

  10. #10

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    thank you!! all of you!
    i really need this.
    i have an... 'interview/tryout' where i'll need to be using a flash and honestly
    have no idea what to do with it. i know i can incorporate it into my style of
    photography, at least i'm pretty confident that i can.
    Just so long as you don't try using your flash on landscapes!

    I see that happening so often with point and shoot cameras when using auto settings. Fireworks are another frequent scenario for wasted auto flash.

  11. #11
    Jim B.'s Avatar
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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    I found this helpful for beginners.
    http://super.nova.org/DPR/

  12. #12

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post

    with the 7d though... can i put this flash ... like on the ground and use my camera to trigger it?
    Hi Nik,

    There are 3 ways to trigger a flash that's not physically mounted on a camera ...

    1. Is to use what basically amounts to an extension cord (Canon call it an "Off Camera Shoe Cord")

    2. You can use the Canon ST-E2 Transmitter (or the built in flash controller on your 7D). Contrary to popular opinion, this works with visible light, not infra-red. It can work OK, but you need to be either inside or have line-of-sight for communications to be reliable (personally I found them to be a it too much of a challenge for me).

    4. You can use a Radio Link, with "Pocket Wizard" being the best and most known brand (although not the cheapest) (with these triggering is more or less "bullet proof", although if you use the older version you need to set the flash power manually; newer ControlTL series supports ETTL though).

    If you're after a crash course on using them then I'd suggest the best-selling books on digital photography ever created; Scott Kelby's "Digital Photography" series (you can also get them electronically if you have Amazon Kindle software on your PC or iPhone) (or actually own a Kindle).

    Hope this helps!

  13. #13

    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Nik

    I went against all logic a few months back and photographed my brothers wedding. This site helped me no end and you don't just apply the techniques to weddings.

    http://neilvn.com/tangents/flash-pho...lash-outdoors/

    A flash, particularly off camera, either controlled by radio triggers or an ETTL cord will make the biggest single difference to your images (apart from turning the camera on....yes and I don't always do that). A whole new world is opened up. The 580EX is top of the range from canon and was a little expensive for me at the time. I purchased a 430EX II. Half the price and it is a superb little flash gun.

    My rules of thumb (as a starting point) is direct flash (pointing at the subject) outdoors. Camera in Av mode, flash set to ETTL and FEC set to -2EV. Av mode and ETTL work together to give you just enough fill to take shadows off faces, flowers...and so on. You will need to experiment a little with the Flash Exposure Compensation (FEC) though. Get the flash off the camera if you can.

    Indoors it is camera set to manual. Shutter 125th sec and aperture to suit what I am shooting. FEC in this case is set between 0ev to +2 ev. Try to get the flash off the camera and diffuse the light. I used an old milk carton or piece of white magifoam velcroed to the flash head to direct the light. I also use black magifoam and a hair band to form a snoot. this directs the light more precisely. If you cannot get the flash off the camera bounce the light of a ceiling, wall, reflector...anything really but try to make sure what you bounce off is light in colour. Slight casts can be fixed in your RAW converter.

    Well that my quick start guide and it is only a starter. Others will use their flash guns in a multitude of different ways but this worked for me as a beginner

    Steve

  14. #14

    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    with the 7d though... can i put this flash ... like on the ground and use my camera to trigger it?
    It's called 'off-camera flash. I believe the 7D has a built in trigger which should trigger your flash unit off the camera, on the ground for example. On cameras that don't have a built in trigger (like my 50D), you can use a STE2 Canon trigger which sits on the hotshoe and does the same sort of thing (it actually can fire two flash guns). Here Canon STE2 transmitter unit I have one and it works well, but I think there are other ways to do it that may be cheaper.

    Quote Originally Posted by Nik View Post
    you guys are awesome.
    Nik - you shouldn't say that sort of thing. You no doubt have heard the apocryphal story about John Wayne on location for some Hollywood biblical epic. His line on the death of Jesus was "He truely was the son of God..." The exasperated director cut him and said "No, John, do it with more awe..." John replied "Aww, he truely was the son of God"

    I thought it was funny.

  15. #15

    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    sorry about that. I just posted and noticed that three of us posted almost at the same time. I duplicated some of what was said, unintentionally.

  16. #16

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    Re: tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    A quick example for Nik ...

    No flash ...

    tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

    Flash ...

    tell me about flashes.... (Canon 580EX)

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